Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble by Rosemary Wells
Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble
Review copy from Simon & Schuster
My oldest was born in 1993 and my second in 1997, which is when Rosemary Wells's books about bunny siblings were at their peak and a few years before they became television stars. There was something about the stories of the knowing, slightly bossy Ruby, the willful, often wayward Max and the insightful, loving way Wells brought them to life on the page that we loved reading over and over. They both came at the world (and whatever challenge was before them) from very different corners, yet there was always enough room (and acceptance and love from Grandma) for both of them to exist and coexist at the end of the day. In fact, that's what I love about all of Wells's best books - the way she understands the emotional lives of children, gets it on the page, and gently, lovingly shows readers that it will get better. In fact, her trilogy of books, originally sold in a small boxed set, Voyage to the Bunny Planet feature three different bunnies having hard days - until Janet, Queen of the Bunny Planet, invites them into her world saying, "Come in. Here's the day that should have been." I especially love this trilogy because the one and only piece of original picture book art is from it!
With Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble, Wells give the sister and brother duo another sister and brother... I'm not sure if this is meant as the dawn of a new era for Max & Ruby books, or a sweet coda almost 30 years after we first met the siblings in Max's Dragon Shirt. Whatever the intent, Ruby and Max - along with Grandma - are anticipating Mama's return from the hospital. Of course Ruby and Max have different ideas about where babies come from and what they need, with Ruby using her Hannah the Howler doll to demonstrate everything that awaits. Max isn't interested in bathing, feeding and rocking Hannah to sleep. He just wants to push her button and make her howl. Once - SURPRISE! - twins Oliver and Grace are home, Ruby seems to be right. At first. When nothing, not even the Vibra-Chairs, can calm the twins, Max steps in. He puts Hannah in their crib and pushes the button and soon, "Olivier, Grace, and Hannah fell asleep in a heap."
If you are familiar with Rosemary Wells from the 1990s, Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble might feel like it's missing some of her signature charm. However, if you are (or give this book to) a little kid who knows the bunnies from their cartoon shows or even possibly from their books, you will love this sweet story about welcoming new babies into the family!
My favorite Max & Ruby stories